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Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Let’s find out together, in this more than detailed review, what are the strengths and weaknesses of Bayonetta 3, the new chapter of the PlatinumGames franchise that sees the most loved Witch ever returning to the field

When all seemed lost, Nintendo took under its wing the Bayonetta brand and a PlatinumGames that had every intention of creating a third, definitive, chapter. Daughter of that vein that Devil May Cry has been able to ride to the sound of a barrel, the most curvy witch in the gaming world is back with an action-packed new iteration, blows to the sword and demonic invocations, this time in hybrid format on a Nintendo Switch that, in some situations, seemed to take flight to make it run.

Last October 28 Bayonetta 3 finally arrived on the market, after an endless series of controversies and a development that is certainly not easy. Behind him, a team with great experience in the field of action (Nier Automata, Astral Chain) and an inordinate amount of affection and anticipation (and pure and simple Hype) donated by a passionate community and in great anticipation for this third, now almost vaporware, chapter. We took our time to play it, understand it, explore it and, in almost every respect, appreciate it. This review may be predictable, but we really want to tell you so much about Bayonetta 3.


If you are looking for a narrative with a deep substrate, unpredictable twists and complex and varied situations, know that you are in the wrong place. Bayonetta 3 stages situations bordering on the surreal, chaotic and crazy, that at times they almost made us forget that we actually needed a narrative. Because in reality, the basic lore and structure of the game world of the Bayonetta series are there, they are being explored and expanded. However, everything is done behind a myriad of fireworks, which entertain and distract the gamer, placing the script sector in the background. And we assure you that: that’s okay.

In the approximately 16 hours we spent in the company of Cereza, Viola, Jeanne and all the other supporting actors, our protagonists had to abandon their placid lives as always (but when ever) to face yet another threat again. Let’s set aside the Angels and Demons, this time to undermine the destiny of the whole world (present, past, future and … who knows?) the Homunculi arrive. We do not want to reveal absolutely nothing of the actual plot of Bayonetta 3, because, although as already mentioned it is not the focus of the production of PlatinumGames, it has some particularly interesting and intriguing spearheads and is based on concepts that, if all goes well, maybe we will see. even more developed in a future chapter.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Witch Heart | Review Bayonetta 3

Thus setting aside the narrative, the center and beating heart of Bayonetta 3 is, undoubtedly, the purely playful side. From a structural point of view, Cereza’s new adventure develops on stage, like the two previous chapters, at the end of which we will be assigned a score and a statuette, the result of the sum of the points and medals that we can obtain by facing the various Verses . The latter are nothing more than the combat phases of which the stages consist, some are purely related to the plot, others are hidden and we will have to find them by exploring the various maps.

Closed maps, of course, as they are limited to internships, but full of secondary content and ancillary challenges. If we pay particular attention and jump on every ledge, going to find every crevice, we will in fact find ourselves in front of a myriad of collectibles, which expand both the gallery and Viola’s room, secondary challenges, secret chests and simple puzzles (di we do not want to reveal anything) that will lead us to live situations that are somewhat … surreal. Everything is included in game maps of pleasantly reduced dimensions and which also guarantee us not to lose the sense of orientation, while leaving ample room for exploration to the gamer.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

The Hunters and the Hunted | Review Bayonetta 3

The situational variety is also given by the alternation of the characters we are going to impersonate. If, in fact, taking the role of Cereza gives the iconic gameplay “à la Bayonetta”, which we have all learned to appreciate by now and which we will talk about a little later, Viola will also have levels dedicated to her and will greatly change the balance of game, pad in hand. Not to mention the extravagant optional stages dedicated to Jeanne: we leave you the pleasure of discovering them, because they are the quintessence of the extraordinary.

“Extraordinary” is what we said most while playing Bayonetta 3. The Treccani dictionary defines this adjective as “Non ordinary, which comes out of the ordinary, the usual, the normal or the common…”. And yes, we can confirm that PlatinumGames’ latest production definitely crosses the boundaries of the ordinary and simple spectacularity, taking full advantage of the action-stylish-games and expanding even more its already superb charm. How? With its own combat system.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Singularity Balance | Review Bayonetta 3

Bayonetta 3 follows the gameplay of past iterations of the franchise, expanding some mechanics and donating new ones. Basically, our Witch will be able to use two melee attacks and one ranged, alternating two sets of equipment that pair a weapon of our choice (of the different ones that can be unlocked by continuing in the game) and an accessory (which can be purchased at the Gates of Hell). The perfect dodge returns that will trigger the Temporal Sabbat, a moment when time will slow down for everyone except Cereza. And so far, in short, everything is regular, everything is normal. What changes? That this time Bayonetta is not alone.

Since the first trailers, in fact, particular emphasis has been placed on the possibility for our witch to summon demons. These creatures, however, will not act alone, but must always be guided by the gamer and will each have specific and useful attacks in certain situations. Our initial fear was only one: the possibility of breaking the game’s difficulty curve. Although it is true that summons are limited in time and based on a specific bar, placed in the lower left corner, which also empties rather quickly, it is equally undoubted that all the succubus demons are damn strong and useful.

Everything has been solved by PlatinumGames with a simple mechanic: in the meantime it summons the succubus demons, Bayonetta remains vulnerable. This means that, except for some situations in which we were able to position the witch in places difficult to reach by the enemies, exploiting the evocations by breaking the fate of the battle is not so feasible, indeed. As soon as Bayonetta receives even one point of damage, the demon will be immediately summoned and control will return to Cereza.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Get to the Climax! | Review Bayonetta 3

The management of summons is therefore based on a rather precise balance and is not necessarily decisive for the fate of most of the clashes. You will need a certain amount of luck, that’s for sure, especially as the enemies are programmed to attack the closest ally, whether it’s Bayonetta or the demon. However, they will also serve a lot of precision, timing and accuracy to avoid summoning demons in a completely random and useless way. The inclusion of succubi is therefore not only the result of that search for spectacularity that is found in every corner of Bayonetta 3, and we could not but be sure, in reality.

In the various game maps or by completing the challenges we will be able to find the Witch Hearts not Moon pearlsas well as collect the Crystals. All this is aimed at strengthening the player character, whether it is Cereza or Viola, and all the skill trees that will be unlocked as you continue with the game. To make you understand the degree of breadth: each demon unlocked will donate a specific skill tree.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Try to stop me | Review Bayonetta 3

As we have mentioned a few times, Bayonetta 3 has included Viola as a playable character. The young woman does not have the degree of experience that the witch of Umbra brings with her, of course, but it is just as fun to play. Agile, fast and precise, Viola uses the katana to do a lot of harm to all the enemies that she finds in front of her. She too is equipped with a Thunderstorm Sabbat, which she will activate, however, by parrying the blows of the enemies, rather than dodging them. While not at the same level as Cereza (which, we admit, has a degree of charm, elegance and a plurality of truly unique styles), Viola is a very welcome addition, breaking that degree of monotony that might come in, especially when you decide to play for several hours consecutively.

On her side Viola also has Cheshire, a demonic cat that she can summon on the field, but which, unlike Bayonetta’s succubi, will not force her not to participate in the fight. In short: we definitely enjoyed the variety of gameplay styles that Bayonetta 3 brings to life in the various chapters that make up the plot, and we found ourselves replaying several stages several times to try to maximize scores and earnings. The only flaw? We wanted more levels with Viola.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Sneaking Mission | Review Bayonetta 3

So we come to the painful side and the only reason why we stopped defining Bayonetta 3 a true “masterpiece” of its kind: the technical sector. We cannot cover our eyes, because the difficulties that the game encounters on Nintendo Switch are obvious and cannot be delayed: frequent (ssimi) drops in frame rate, especially in the final stages and in any case in all the most confusing fights, which often also reduce the accuracy of Chade’s Witch attacks. Modeling of at least two generations ago, low resolution textures everywhere and in plain sight, pop ups and various inaccuracies undermine the sublime artistic sector of Bayonetta 3.

However, we must make a further confession: pad in the hand there is not given a damn. Although in the review and in the perspective of the vote we cannot fail to underline such obvious smudges, playing Bayonetta 3 we did not concentrate at all on the technical side of production, except when we imposed it on ourselves. Artistically speaking, the game has an undisputed charm, a frenetic and constantly lively character, also the result of the whimsy of a character like Cereza who, net of everything, is the driving force behind the entire production.

A big and heartfelt applause also goes to the entire audio sector, starting with one truly spectacular and lively soundtrack and who manages to mix completely different tracks while maintaining his style, to the dubbing of Jennifer Hale, who replaced the historical voice of Hellena Taylor in a big way.

Bayonetta 3 review: when style becomes elegance!

Fly me to the moon

We do not know how to close this Bayonetta 3 review, we seem to have said a lot and, at the same time, practically nothing. Living and playing the third installment of the PlatinumGames franchise, this time under the aegis of Nintendo, was …